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The OECD's "Action Plan" to Raise Taxes on Multinational Corporations


  • Gary Clyde Hufbauer

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Euijin Jung

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Tyler Moran

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Martian Vieiro

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)


Hufbauer and colleagues critically evaluate the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's ambitious multipart project titled Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which contains 15 "Actions" to prevent multinational corporations (MNCs) from escaping their "fair share" of the tax burden. Spurred by G-20 finance ministers, the OECD recommends changes in national legislation, revision of existing bilateral tax treaties, and a new multilateral agreement for participating countries. The proposition that MNCs need to pay more tax enjoys considerable political resonance as government budgets are strained, the world economy is struggling, income inequality is rising, and the news media have publicized instances of corporations legally lowering their global tax burdens by reporting income in low-tax jurisdictions and expenses in high-tax jurisdictions. Given that the US system taxes MNCs more heavily than other advanced countries and provides fewer tax incentives for research and development (R&D), implementation of the BEPS Actions would drive many MNCs to relocate their headquarters to tax-friendly countries and others to offshore significant amounts of R&D activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Euijin Jung & Tyler Moran & Martian Vieiro, 2015. "The OECD's "Action Plan" to Raise Taxes on Multinational Corporations," Working Paper Series WP15-14, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp15-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce A. Blonigen & Lindsay Oldenski & Nicholas Sly, 2014. "The Differential Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 1-18, May.
    2. Ruud A. de Mooij & Sjef Ederveen, 2008. "Corporate tax elasticities: a reader's guide to empirical findings," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 680-697, winter.
    3. Grubert, Harry, 2012. "Foreign Taxes and the Growing Share of U.S. Multinational Company Income Abroad: Profits, Not Sales, Are Being Globalized," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(2), pages 247-281, June.
    4. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2009. "Multinational Firm Tax Avoidance and Tax Policy," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(4), pages 703-725, December.
    5. Dhammika Dharmapala, 2014. "What Do We Know about Base Erosion and Profit Shifting? A Review of the Empirical Literature," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 35, pages 421-448, December.
    6. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Woan Foong Wong, 2011. "Corporate Tax Reform for a New Century," Policy Briefs PB11-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Martin Vieiro, 2013. "Corporate Taxation and US MNCs: Ensuring a Competitive Economy," Policy Briefs PB13-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    8. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
    9. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Paul Grieco, 2005. "Reforming the US Corporate Tax," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3845.
    10. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Martin Vieiro, 2012. "Right Idea, Wrong Direction: Obama’s Corporate Tax Reform Proposals," Policy Briefs PB12-13, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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    More about this item


    Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS); Corporate Taxes; International Taxation; Tax Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law

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